March 22, 2020: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Even though we are separated from people and our faith community, how can we still stand in solidarity? Participate in webinars with organizations you are involved with and support and share those opportunities with others.
First Reading: 1st Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Psalm: 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14
Gospel: John 9:1-41
Catechism of the Catholic Church
When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come “from flesh and blood”, but from “my Father who is in heaven”. Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.'” (153) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
1st Samuel 16:1-13
The prototype of the king chosen by Yahweh is David, whose humble origins are a favorite topic of the biblical account (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-13). David is the recipient of the promise (cf. 2 Sam 7:13-16; Ps 89:2-38, 132:11-18), which places him at the beginning of a special kingly tradition, the “messianic” tradition. Notwithstanding all the sins and infidelities of David and his successors, this tradition culminates in Jesus Christ, who is par excellence “Yahweh’s anointed” (that is, “the Lord’s consecrated one”, cf. 1 Sam 2:35, 24:7,11, 26:9,16; Ex 30:22-32), the son of David (cf. Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38; Rom 1:3).
The failure of kingship on the historical level does not lead to the disappearance of the ideal of a king who, in fidelity to Yahweh, will govern with wisdom and act in justice. This hope reappears time and again in the Psalms (cf. Ps 2, 18, 20, 21, 72). In the messianic oracles, the figure of a king endowed with the Lord’s Spirit, full of wisdom and capable of rendering justice to the poor, is awaited in eschatological times (cf. Is 11:2-5; Jer 23:5-6). As true shepherd of the people of Israel (cf. Ezek 34:23-24, 37:24), he will bring peace to the nations (cf. Zech 9:9-10). In Wisdom Literature, the king is presented as the one who renders just judgments and abhors iniquity (cf. Prov 16:12), who judges the poor with equity (cf. Prov 29:14) and is a friend to those with a pure heart (cf. Prov 22:11). There is a gradual unfolding of the proclamation of what the Gospels and other New Testament writings see fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the definitive incarnation of what the Old Testament foretold about the figure of the king. (378)
1st Samuel 16:12-13
At the beginning of its history, the people of Israel are unlike other peoples in that they have no king, for they recognize the dominion of Yahweh alone. It is God who intervenes on Israel’s behalf through charismatic individuals, as recorded in the Book of Judges. The people approach the last of these individuals, Samuel, prophet and judge, to ask for a king (cf. 1 Sam 8:5; 10:18-19). Samuel warns the Israelites about the consequences of a despotic exercise of kingship (cf. 1 Sam 8:11-18). However, the authority of the king can also be experienced as a gift of Yahweh who comes to the assistance of his people (cf. 1 Sam 9:16). In the end, Saul is anointed king (cf. 1 Sam 10:1-2). These events show the tension that brought Israel to understand kingship in a different way than it was understood by neighboring peoples. The king, chosen by Yahweh (cf. Dt 17:15; 1 Sam 9:16) and consecrated by him (cf. 1 Sam 16:12-13), is seen as God’s son (cf. Ps 2:7) and is to make God’s dominion and plan of salvation visible (cf. Ps 72). The king, then, is to be the defender of the weak and the guarantor of justice for the people. The denunciations of the prophets focus precisely on the kings’ failure to fulfill these functions (cf. 1 Kg 21; Is 10:1-4; Am 2:6-8, 8:4-8; Mic 3:1-4). (377)
Do we support prophets or hang with the in-crowd? Will we unravel security of networks to absorb the potential for a broader exclamation of thought? Are we quick to live by the letter of the law instead of looking into the eyes of need? All questions answered by looking to the light, living as the light. A light grounded in righteousness and truth to produce every kind of goodness. A process where we learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Shedding the waste of time from participating in fruitless works of darkness and instead expose the darkness that obscures the reflection of light. The invitation to absorb the light of our Savior comes from His invitation to arise. Instead of begging to maintain the status quo, we must let Jesus touch us and experiencing the anointing with the sacred oil, so the Holy Spirit transform what has been to a newness of life and testify to the truth of prophetic words. A place where outward appearance seems to rest in time, but the heart is so refreshed and vibrant. A consuming zeal not extinguished by where one stands, for all places are holy ground exclaimed in the sacredness of human temples in bodying the Holy Spirit. Each able to acclaim the Lord is their Shepherd.
Individual Reflection:Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Take time to return to God, Our Father
Family Reflection: Ephesians 5:8-14
During this time create a daily family ritual affirming your trust in God
Prayer: Visit a livestream of the Blessed Sacrament or Adoration. Spend time with the Lord, even though currently we are physically separated from this experience.
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born March 20, 2020 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.